WEEKDAY EDITION: A nice morning today, painted
the club bathroom and installed an antenna. We are
spiffing the club up for the annual Xmas Party in a
few weeks. The Patriots are winning by the skin of
their teeth as of late.....and BC even won last
weekend. I am amazed that with their 50-50 win loss
record they are bowl eligible, God only knows for
what bowl these egocentric blowhards qualify for....
WEEKEND EDITION: I had a great T-Day and hope you
did too....I am headed to North Conway for a few
days for business and pleasure.....Fidel Castro
finally shit the bed, good riddance. Cubans should
be celebrating and not mourning.
Aussie HAM to make an impact on Mars
On a salt lake in Central Australia early next year
a radio amateur will conduct tests of a wide area
radio network destined for the planet Mars.
Robert Brand VK2URB, of Thunderstruck Aerospace,
reports that it is an
essential part of a project to develop the Mars Nano-Lander
detection system called MEDIAN, set to land in 2025.
Approval will be sought from the Australian Civil
Aviation Safety Authority for use of the air space
for the test.
The project calls for 10 separate penetrators to be
ejected from the jettisoned heat shield at about 6km
from the surface of Mars. They are to spear into the
surface of Mars and form a ring about 8km wide. The
radio systems will begin measuring distance between
the other landers and map the network.
Robert VK2URB says they will then switch to a random
packet mode and begin sending messages to an
Even the orientation of each probe covering an area
around the size of a small city, will be detected
and used to calculate the direction that wind, and
hopefully any methane, on the thin Martian
Robert VK2URB says that the audacious mission is a
joint project with the UK Methane detection group at
the University of Central Lancashire, and the
Australian Thunderstruck Aerospace team.
Robert is the design architect of the landing
system, the mapping, orientation, communications,
data relay, and the on-going non-methane science
package. He says that never before has a network of
probes been landed anywhere outside of earth and
have impactors with the intention of surviving the
The possibility of microbial life on Mars has been
discussed by scientists
since the presence of methane gas on the red planet
was found several years ago.
MEDIAN will map possible methane vent locations for
a rover to investigate. If the rover fails to land,
the project will still relay local weather and
subsoil information back to earth.
It's expected that the tests in Central Australia
will demonstrate the
essential role that radio will play in mapping,
locating, orienting the network and then relaying
data around the network. The tests will involve
dropping a simulated heat shied from 3km altitude
and having the impactors fire at 2.5km feet to
simulate the impact that each would have on Mars.
Even the orientation of each probe will be detected
and used to calculate the direction that wind is
coming from in the thin Martian atmosphere. The
penetrators will stay vertical and elevate the
science and radio package about a metre off the
surface allowing for better radio connectivity and
clear wind profile.
A metre diameter solar panel will provide adequate
power and the network is expected to survive for at
least six months on Mars relaying weather and
sub-surface information. An expected seven of the 10
spikes will survive the impact.
Ham radio will provide essential communications for
the tests and for the event.
It is hoped a special event around the testing will
attract the interests of
ham operators worldwide, and focus attention of the
role that Australia is playing in Space Missions.
MORE SUSPICIOUS RADIO SIGNALS TROUBLE INDIA
NEIL/ANCHOR: We open this week's newscast with yet
another report from India about suspicious radio
transmissions. These originate off the nation's west
coast by the Arabian Sea. Here's Amateur Radio
Newsline's Jeremy Boot G4NJH with more details.
JEREMY'S REPORT: Even as radio operators in West
Bengal attempt to track mysterious nighttime radio
signals, there comes a more recent report that hams
in Mumbai have been picking up signals on VHF just
off the coasts of Gujarat and Maharashtra. Ankur
Puranik VU2AXN of Ham Radio Operators Mumbai said he
has written to the Ministry of Telecommunications
and IT as well as other officials - including law
enforcement - pressing for an investigation. Ankur
said that his club's direction-finding equipment
placed the signals about 100 nautical miles into the
ocean off the coast. The transmissions have been
heard for the past few months, he said -- and most
of the time at night. He described the signals as
being in an unintelligible language and devoid of
the required identifying call signs.
He was quoted in the Mumbai Mirror as saying:
[QUOTE] "We believe that they are using open-band
wireless sets which can tune in to or transmit in
any frequency in the VHF band between 136-174MHz.
Some of these frequencies may be falling in the
bands used by the Indian government and security
The Mumbai hams are not the only radio operators in
India to be concerned about unidentifiable
transmissions. In October, hams in south Bengal
revealed they had begun monitoring unauthorized VHF
transmissions sent at night along the
Bengal-Bangladesh border, with an eye toward
tracking possible terror cells.
IN NEW ZEALAND QUAKE, RADIO AMID THE RUBBLE
NEIL/ANCHOR: As the northeastern corner of New
Zealand's South Island tries to clear out from this
month's major earthquake, one local amateur has
taken stock of his opportunity to help -- not just
in that moment, but in the future. Amateur Radio
Newsline's Jim Meachen ZL2BHF tells us more.
JIM: On holiday in Waiau at the time a 7.8 magnitude
earthquake struck New Zealand on Monday, the 14th of
November, Daniel Ayers ZL1DFA found himself a few
miles from its epicenter. With roads impassable,
utilities not functioning and conventional
communications useless, no amateur radio assistance
was called in. Being there already with his handheld
radio, Daniel was among the few who could get
involved immediately in that rural region, first by
finding out what had happened and then to step in
DANIEL: "At that stage I only had a handheld radio
with me. But fortunately it had a reasonably good
antenna so I was able to get into an amateur
repeater called 6975, a VHF repeater on 146.975
megahertz, which was some distance away but I was
able to get in there and talk to people in
Christchurch and the wider area around the northern
part of the south island and they told me
straightaway that we'd just had a direct hit."
JIM: Even after Civilian AM radio brought news
reports in, the Civil Defense district's VHF
repeater network failed for several hours, so it was
tough getting word out until later. Limited road
access eventually allowed Daniel to retrieve his SUV
which is equipped with mobile ham equipment.
DANIEL: "I was able to scoot out into Christchurch
and swap the car I was driving for my SUV which was
fitted out for emergency communications on HF and
VHF and had everything necessary to be ready to go
to talk to anybody. I took that vehicle back into
Waiau and using that I was able to participate more
fully in providing some communications."
JIM: Daniel also worked for hours using the Civil
Defense system and equipment before being asked to
switch to his own amateur radios to help the New
Zealand fire service pass messages to their regional
office in Christchurch, 100 miles away.
DANIEL: "What I found that was very interesting is
that the quote/unquote amateur VHF networks were
more reliable in this instance - and this was not
the only instance where we have seen this in this
part of the country. The amateur infrastructure was
more reliable than the radio communications
infrastructure for Civil Defense."
JIM: The next challenge, Daniel said, is not just
preparing for the next quake that is surely to come,
or the series of inevitable aftershocks, but finding
a way for radio amateurs to establish a system of
response on HF that will help this rural nation more
A NEW SUMMIT-TO-SUMMIT SUCCESS
NEIL/ANCHOR: There have been new heights of success
in the latest Summit-to-Summit Event as we hear from
Amateur Radio Newsline's Ed Durrant DD5LP, who was
part of that activation.
ED'S REPORT: The Summits on the Air "Summit to
Summit" event between Europe and North America on
Saturday the 19th of November was a great success.
Despite cold and rainy weather across several parts
of Europe, band conditions being average and
interference from contestants in the LZ-DX contest,
all activators who were out reported a successful
and enjoyable day.
Some stations racked up multiple S2S (Summit to
Summit) contacts across the three continents
involved -- as well as Europe and North America –
there was one activator on holiday in the Canary
Islands, which counts geographically as Africa. The
event was also an opportunity for others to try out
new rigs and other equipment, especially antennas.
Several activators had their first-ever
inter-continental summit to summit contact and were
really happy about that. Others went in small teams
and enjoyed working together. Some had tents to
protect them from the weather. Others were really
lucky with the weather, while others got soaked.
Three bands were used for inter-continental contacts
– 21, 18 and 14MHz. Most contacts were made on 20
metres; however those with multiple band capability
moved away from the contest traffic on 20 metres to
the more peaceful 17 and 15 metres. The consensus
seems to be that from a propagation point of view 17
metres was the best; however inter-continental QSOs
were made on all three bands.
We even have some reports of chasers from VK
catching some of the EU activators via short path in
the very early hours of the Australian Sunday
Sixty-six summits had been announced, but 77 were
actually activated, an increase on the 51 summits
alerted and 73 stations taking part in the VK-EU
event a month earlier.
It'll be interesting to see what the numbers are for
the North America-VK event. This may only now take
place in 2017 when the weather in the Northern
The general feeling around the SOTA community is
that having these S2S events is both enjoyable and
useful and many are looking forward to more of them.
WEATHER OR NOT, HERE COMES THE BALLOON
NEIL: On November 13th, STEM School and Academy
senior Madisen Frie (FREE), KE0KCM, led a team that
launched a high-altitude balloon from Deer Trail,
Colorado. These balloon projects are all the rage
across the country as a hands-on way to introduce
students to principles of science and technology.
But what made this launch different from their
previous ones is that the entire project was
engineered by students. This first launch in a
continuing series accomplished its goal… to launch,
track, and safely return. Madisen explains how she
organized the students to complete the project.
MADISEN: We had the tracking group, the payload
group, and then another group, which was my group,
which was just to make sure… to oversee everything.
So for the tracking group they came up with a few
different methods to track it such as the fox as
well as the APRS unit. Those are the two that we
ended up using. They also came up with other things
not used such as an altitude-sensitive cold smoke
bomb kind of thing where it would just set off
signals so we actually could see it come down, as
well as a noise emitter so we could hear it in case
it got too dark to actually see the smoke or the
APRS unit cut out, which it had been for a little
bit before. As for the payload group, they took one
of our old payloads and modified it so that it could
hold three GoPro cameras and be able to take them up
to 100,000 feet and come back down without them
NEIL: Madisen passed her amateur radio license exam
this summer, after participating in 4 prior
launches. Madisen shared her motivation to finally
get her license.
MADISEN: What initially got me interested in getting
my radio license is Skylar, who is KD0WHB. He just
told me all of these benefits that he could get from
having his radio license. And honestly, I kind of
felt left out when we were tracking all the weather
balloons cause everyone had their radios and I
thought that was so cool that they could talk to
each other like they did.
NEIL: Adult amateur radio mentors included Toby
Foss, K0TFS, and for the last time at STEM Academy
veteran teacher Paul Veal, N0AH.
The balloon carried a little over 4 pounds of
equipment, traveled to a height of 90,437 feet, and
endured temperatures as low as -50 to -100 degrees
Fahrenheit. The students were able to track and find
the balloon after it fell over 17 miles back to
Earth. Now they await their next launch with some
data gathering payloads and some other projects.
MADISEN: We do have some stuff planned. We are going
to try to bounce a radio signal off the moon as well
as listen to Saturn. So we’re getting into more of
the space portion. I personally still have a lot to
learn about radios, but I look forward to it for
KEYING IN ON THE KEYSTONE STATE
NEIL: The Holmesburg Amateur Radio Club in
Pennsylvania, known for its popular "13 Colonies
Event" around July 4, is posing another radio
challenge -- just because it wants to. Here's
Amateur Radio Newsline's Heather Embee KB3TZD.
HEATHER: What has an estimated 46,000 square miles,
a noted colonial history and 67 counties full of
radio operators looking to help hams around the
world earn a certificate of distinction? That would
be Pennsylvania, the Keystone State, the 33rd
largest state in the U.S.
It's also home to the Holmesburg Amateur Radio Club,
which is hosting the "Pennsylvania 67 Challenge,"
inviting hams everywhere to have a realtime QSO -
amateur to amateur - in every county in any two-way
radio mode; including moonbounce, IRLP, EchoLink,
amateur satellites, and even D-Star FM repeaters.
If you can't work all the counties, don't be
discouraged: Challenge certificates are also
available for hams who work 20, 40, or 60 counties.
For information on how to qualify for certificates
or how to get your contacts verified, visit the
club's website at www-dot-H-A-R-C-dot-net or email
the club at W-M-3-P-E-N at A-R-R-L dot net.
For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Heather Embee KB3TZD
in Berwick, Pennsylvania - in Columbia County, one
of those places in the 67 challenge!
SCOUTS WRAP UP JAMBOREE ON THE AIR
NEIL: Some proud Scouts and supporters just finished
their final report for this year's Jamboree on the
Air. They shared the good news with Amateur Radio
Newsline's Bill Stearns NE4RD -- who shares it with
BILL'S REPORT: This week in Radio Scouting we wrap
up the final report for Jamboree on the Air with
comments from participating stations.
Paul Griffith, KE5WMA, stated "Setting up at a Scout
event gave us better results than previous years."
Benjamin Kuo, KK6FUT, told us: "We've found that by
stretching our reach to three events each year – one
around JOTA in October, another in June during Field
Day, and one during the annual Camporee, usually in
April, the overall result has been a lot more
exposure of amateur radio to the scouting community
The Yadkin Valley Amateur Radio Club, KE4YVF,
reported "We need slick pre-event handouts to
stimulate interest at district, council, and unit
These comments and more can be found in our 2016
JOTA Report. In response to Benjamin, on our website
in the JOTA resources there is a Scouting Event
Publicity Guide published by Bill Ragsdale, K6KN.
This free and informative guide will help you get
the message out about your next radio scouting
event. For the YVARC, there are brochures, as well,
highlighting radio scouting for any event you wish
For this and more information on K2BSA and Radio
Scouting, please visit www.k2bsa.net.
THREE NEW EMERGENCY ALERT EVENT CODES
NEIL/ANCHOR: Changes are coming to the nation's
Emergency Alert System and they'll be in place for
next year's hurricane season. Amateur Radio
Newsline's Bobby Best WX4ALA tells us more.
BOBBY'S REPORT: The Emergency Alert System, the
national public warning system used during dangerous
weather and in other crisis situations, has gotten
FCC approval to add three new "event codes" for the
2017 hurricane season. The codes are EWW, for
Extreme Wind Warning, issued for advance notice of
winds 115 miles an hour or greater during major
hurricanes; Storm Surge Watch, or SSA, for use when
the East Coast and Gulf Coasts experience riding
water moving inland. This could be used in tropical,
subtropical or post-tropical cyclones.
The third is SSW, or Storm Surge Warning when the
tropical inundation is going to happen within 36
hours, and possibly isolate an area. The weather
conditions could include storm-force winds that
limit time to safely evacuate an area.
The new codes will affect the Emergency Alert System
as well as NOAA Weather Radio.
The FCC is requiring that EAS equipment makers
provide software upgrades to participants in the
Emergency Alert System by March 12, 2017.
PHILIPPINE AMATEURS MARK 84 YEARS
NEIL/ANCHOR: It's not your typical 84th birthday
party but it's bound to be festive in any case: The
Philippine Amateur Radio Association is marking
eight decades and more. We hear the details from
Amateur Radio Newsline's Jason Daniels VK2LAW.
JASON's REPORT: The Philippine Amateur Radio
Association is marking its 84th anniversary on the
27th of November at the Marikina Hotel and
Convention Center in Marikina City. The full day of
activities will include VE testing, fox hunting, a
CW challenge for experts as well as students, and a
contest for the best Go-Kit. PARA's forerunner
organization, the Amateur Radio Club of the
Philippines, was organized in 1922 and was merged,
two years later, into the Philippine Radio Society.
On November 27th of 1932, the Philippine Amateur
Radio Association (PARA) was organized and admitted
into the International Amateur Radio Union. Its
founding president was Leon V. Grove, KA1LG, who was
then the Principal of the Philippine School of Arts
and Trade. The 84th anniversary program will also
set aside time to honor members of HERO who assisted
during October Typhoons Karen and Lawin. Lawin was
considered the strongest cyclone to hit the
Philippines in three years.
THE WORLD OF DX
In the world of DX, listen for Alan K0AV operating
as ZD8V from Ascension Island until December 1st.
Alan is operating most of the time on CW. Send QSL
cards via his home call. Logs will be uploaded to
Find Mike AJ9C operating as HR2/AJ9C from Honduras
until November 30. Be listening on all HF bands from
160m to 10m. He is operating on CW, SSB and RTTY.
Send QSL cards to his home call.
Christian IS0BWM can be heard from the club station
9H0HQ/3 in Kenge in the Democratic Republic of the
Congo. He plans to stay in the Congo until Christmas
Day, December 25th. Send QSL cards directly to his
address in Sardinia.
KICKER: NO PLACE LIKE HARA FOR THE HOLIDAYS
NEIL: Our last story, in keeping with the
Thanksgiving holiday, is about gratitude. For more
than 50 years, amateur radio operators were grateful
for the spring ritual of Dayton Hamvention, which
was held in Hara Arena in Trotwood, Ohio. Now the
arena has been shut down and the massive global
gathering of amateurs has found a new home at the
Greene County Fairgrounds starting in 2017. Pieces
of arena history - especially keepsakes of
Hamvention history - are being auctioned off online.
The online auctioneer, Everything But The House,
began accepting bids on Thanksgiving Day, the 24th
of November and the auction concludes Wednesday the
30th of November. No doubt there will be many among
the tens of thousands of radio amateurs - two
generations of visitors - wanting something by which
to remember Hamvention's longtime home.
For many hams, though this will simply be a harvest
of memories, some of them precious indeed. Although
bidding on all items starts at $1, nostalgia is
actually beyond any price. It's easy enough just to
own Hara memories themselves: They're bought easily
with gratitude for the good years and the
friendships that flourished under that roof -- and
all of that knows no season.
WEEKDAY EDITION: NE Patriots won it but it didn't
give me much confidence in their defense, but a win
is a win.....It appears I will be going to Florida
for February and March but it won't stop the
publication of this website.....Hope everyone enjoys
a peaceful week of family and good food during this
Thanksgiving week holiday....
Dan Maloney KC1DJT writes on Hackaday
about how you can cache Shortwave Signals for later with a
SDR spectrum grabber
Shortwave listening has always been a mainly nocturnal
hobby. To get the real DX, one had to wait for favorable
ionospheric conditions after sunset and spend hours twisting
knobs while straining to pick voices from half a planet away
out of the noise. But who has time for that in today’s
world? And what of the poor city-dwelling SWL, with antenna
limitations and often elevated noise floor in the urban
London Shortwave came up with a solution to both problems –
a briefcase SDR capture rig. With a wide-band SDR receiver
and an HF up-converter, a Windows tablet, a 12-meter dipole
antenna, and a few bits and bobs, London Shortwave can now
nip to the low-noise environment of the local park and
capture large swaths of spectrum to an SD card.
WEEKEND EDITION: BC LEGENDS LOST 45-7 last
weekend to Florida State, hope they can keep the
streak going this weekend.....and I hope the
Patriots can bounce back after a tough loss to the
team and injury to Gronk....
FCC Approves New
Emergency Alert System “Event Codes” for 2017 Hurricane
The FCC has added three new “event codes” to the
Emergency Alert System (EAS) for the 2017 hurricane
season. The new rules apply to EAS and NOAA Weather
Radio (NWR). Two of the EAS codes correspond to a
potential Storm Surge Watch/Warning. The National
Weather Service (NWS) is still developing and seeking
comments on a Storm Surge Watch/Warning for operational
use in 2017. The new codes are:
Warning (EWW): The EWW is an existing operational
warning NWS uses for advance notice of sustained surface
wind speeds of 115 MPH or greater during major
hurricanes. All NWS Gulf and East Coast Weather Forecast
Offices (WFOs) issue the EWW.
Storm Surge Watch (SSA): The NWS may issue an
SSA for the gulf and east coasts when life-threatening
inundation is possible from rising water moving inland
in the specified area, generally within 48 hours.
Weather forecast offices could issue the SSA for
tropical, subtropical, or post-tropical cyclones. A WFO
may issue the watch even earlier, when conditions such
as tropical storm-force winds might limit response time
for evacuations or other action. A WFO may also issue
the watch for locations that could be isolated by
inundation in adjacent areas.
Storm Surge Warning (SSW): WFOs may issue an
SSW for the gulf and east coasts when tropical
inundation is more imminent — generally within 36 hours.
NWS may issue a warning when other conditions, such as
the onset of tropical storm-force winds, are expected to
reduce the time available to evacuate or take other
actions. Like the watch, NWS may issue the warning when
an area could be isolated by inundation.
For all three new codes, NWS receivers that provide a
limited, caption-like message display will likely show
“UNKNOWN WARNING” or “UNKNOWN WATCH.” Receivers equipped
with Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) will activate
with SAME alarm tones. Receivers equipped with the 1,050
Hz Warning Alarm Tone will activate a tone. The NWS
Dissemination Team will work with receiver manufacturers
to add the new codes to newly manufactured NWR SAME
Beginning with the 2017 hurricane season, NWS will
request an EAS activation using the EWW event code. If
the NWS decides to make the SSW operational in 2017, the
NWS will request EAS activation for the Storm Surge
Warning. In most jurisdictions, the NWS will not
request EAS activation for the Storm Surge Watch. WFOs
are now reaching out to state and local Emergency
Communications Committees, state and local emergency
management agencies, and broadcasters’ associations for
help in implementing the new codes. Local WFOs may issue
public information statements and update WFO web pages
and air public service announcements over NWR. These
service changes will be further discussed at outreach
events and with seasonal hurricane program briefings.
The FCC order does not require an upgrade of existing
equipment already in use. The FCC “will allow EAS
participants to upgrade their existing equipment to
include the new event codes” on a voluntary basis;
however, EAS equipment manufacturers are required to
“make necessary software upgrades to EAS participants”
by March 12, 2017. In most cases, broadcasters only need
to obtain and implement the manufacturer-provided
For more information, see the Weather-Ready Nation
information fact sheet summarizing
these changes, and check the
frequently asked questions. — Thanks to
the National Weather Service
Latest edition of The 5 MHz Newsletter - No. 17,
Summer/Autumn 2016 - now available
The latest edition of The 5 MHz Newsletter - No.17,
Summer/Autumn 2016 - is now available for free PDF
download from the RSGB 5 MHz page
This edition features 5 MHz news from Portugal,
Finland, Luxembourg, Latvia, Belarus, Andorra and
South Africa, Exercise ‘Blue Ham’ and Two Important
Reminders for UK 5 MHz operators.
GREEN BANK OBSERVATORY IN DANGER OF CLOSING
PAUL/ANCHOR: Our top story this week brings word
that the National Science Foundation has been asked
to unload the Green Bank Observatory in West
Virginia, the world's largest fully steerable radio
telescope. Here are the details from Amateur Radio
Newsline's Jim Damron N8TMW.
JIM/ANCHOR: The largest fully steerable radio
telescope in the world--along with its entire
facility in the National Radio Quiet Zone at Green
Bank Observatory in Green Bank, West Virginia has an
uncertain future, including the possibility of being
dismantled. The 100-meter radio telescope has been
in operation since 2001, when it was built to
replace a previous radio telescope that collapsed in
1988. It operates in a frequency range of 0.1 to 116
gigahertz. Radio telescopes study
naturally-occurring radio light from stars,
galaxies, black holes, and other astronomical
The Green Bank Observatory has helped scientists
worldwide in the study of celestial objects that
give off radio waves—enabling researchers to learn
more about the universe. It is open year-round with
40,000 visitors a year and has been in operation for
over half a century.
Now the National Science Foundation, which funds the
observatory, is being asked by the government to
consider divesting itself of the facility. So it is
considering several options: Continue National
Science Foundation funding for science-focused
operations. Continue to operate the facility by
collaborating with funding from private and
public partners with reduced National Science
Foundation funding. Collaborate with interested
parties for operation of the site as a technology
and education park. Mothball the facilities -- that
is, suspending operations in a manner such that they
could resume at some future date. “Deconstruction”
of the facility, followed by “site restoration."
Two public meetings were planned for Wednesday
November 9 at the Green Bank Observatory for comment
on the proposed changes. However, public comments
can be sent by E mail until November 25, 2016 to
envcomp-ASTemail@example.com with a cc to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Subject should read “Green Bank Observatory”
You may Google “Proposed Changes for Green Bank
Observatory” for complete details.
The Green Bank Observatory is an asset to the
worldwide science community and it is hoped support
will be shown for its continued uninterrupted
For Amateur Radio Newsline, I’m Jim Damron N8TMW
reporting from Charleston, West Virginia
SUPER MOON DOESN'T ALWAYS BRING SUPER CONTACTS
ANCHOR/PAUL: Speaking of celestial things relevant
to hams, let's consider this month's supermoon. I
recently did -- and I was joined by an expert.
There has been a lot of talk about the upcoming
so-called "supermoon" on the evening of November
14th. A "supermoon" is when the moon passes much
closer to the Earth than is usual, and it appears to
be much bigger. Some are questioning how this will
affect moonbounce, or E-M-E amateur communications.
I spoke with Al Katz, K-2-U-Y-H, who is very active
in moonbounce, about the upcoming event. Will it
have any effect?
AL KATZ: It has virtually no effect. You can still
bounce radio signals off the moon, even at HF. I
know a Japanese EME'er who's got very nice echoes at
21 megahertz/15 meters so it can be done. The reason
that people aren't as interested in it, of course,
is that you can regularly work long distances all
the time and the advantage of getting these weak
signals off the moon - and they're still weak
signals, even at 15 meters - even under bad
conditions you're still better off using skip and
propagation if your only interest is working an
interesting place which is one of the exciting parts
of amateur radio.
PAUL: Then according to Katz, it's interesting to
watch, but otherwise it's business as usual?
AL KATZ: That is correct. It's beautiful, and you
see a full moon, especially when it's near a horizon
and it looks enormous and it even looks more
enormous during a "supermoon" - I've viewed
supermoons myself - but this is not the only one,
they come along fairly regularly.
TEAM FROM CUBA AND U.S. MAKE FILM FEATURING HAM
PAUL: Since a moon is often found surrounded by
stars, amateurs will definitely be interested in one
particular star - ham radio itself - in a new movie
made by a U.S.-Cuban production team. Here's Amateur
Radio Newsline's Heather Embee, KB3TZD.
HEATHER: Warmer relations between the U.S. and Cuba
led to a Cuban-American team of contesters in the CQ
World Wide SSB contest in October of 2015 -- and now
it seems the nation's ever-growing friendship has
led to a new movie.
"Sergio and Sergei," which is scheduled to be
released in 2017, is the story of a cosmonaut
stranded on the Mir Space Station because the
collapsing Soviet Union cannot afford to bring him
back to Earth. Not unexpectedly, ham radio is the
star of the film because it saves the day. The
cosmonaut uses the on-board radio and contacts a
professor in Cuba for help. The professor, in turn,
reaches out to a journalist in the U.S. who covers
The storyline isn't only an example of a U.S.-Cuba
partnership -- the film itself is a collaborative
effort between the two nations. Deadline Hollywood
quotes producer Ron Perlman as saying this is the
first Cuban-American co-production of a such a film
in 60 years. The film echoes a 1999 movie, "Mir
Friends," made in Ireland, based on the true story
of Russian cosmonaut Serge´y Krikalov (krik-ka-lev)
U-Zed-3-A-K-slant-U-5-M-I-R and his long-distance
radio friendship with Irish amateur Manus Joe
McClafferty E-I-7-E-Q. Manus McClafferty became a
Silent Key earlier this year.
JAMBOREE ON THE AIR RELEASES ITS NUMBERS
BILL: This week in radio scouting the USA JOTA Flash
numbers are in for 2016!
Although radio counts and registered stations saw a
drop this year, the USA put on 10,761 total Scouts,
a 51% increase, 6,668 total visitors, a 30%
increase, and 1,120 amateur radio operators, a 14%
increase. The registrations were marred a bit by the
cumbersome registration process, which hopefully
will be resolved for next year's running of JOTA.
Jim Wilson, K5ND, will be doing further analysis on
the data and will be working on a finalized report
for publication which should available within a
month. He also said "Thanks again to everyone who
got on the air, shared the fun, technology, and
magic of amateur radio with Scouts.'
For more information on K2BSA and radio scouting,
please visit http://www.k2bsa.net/.
HOPEFUL HAMS AWAIT TEST RESULTS IN LEBANON
PAUL/ANCHOR: For hams in Lebanon who took the
nation's first license exam in more than a decade,
it's all over but the waiting, as we hear from
Amateur Radio Newsline's John Williams VK4JJW.
JOHN's REPORT: For anxious amateurs and prospective
amateurs in Lebanon, it seemed like forever until
they could sit for an exam that would license or
upgrade them. It had been more than a decade since
the Lebanese Ministry of Communications had offered
a test session for those seeking the nation's OD5
call sign. Now, having taken the test a little more
than two weeks ago, the 50 or so hopeful applicants
are waiting again - this time, for the results.
Hani Raad OD5TE, president of the Radio Amateurs of
Lebanon, is credited with being the prime mover in
getting the exam scheduled according to Ghassan
Chammas AC2RA. Ghassan, formerly HJ6SQQ and HK6SQQ,
was among those taking the test in Beirut.
He said in a recent email to Amateur Radio Newsline
[QUOTE] "I hope to get an OD5 very soon." [ENDQUOTE]
Amateur Radio Newsline will be waiting with him for
the results - and we look forward to working the new
ANOTHER SOTA 'SUPER ACTIVATION'
PAUL/ANCHOR: It's time to put more summits on the
air -- and the next "super activation" is coming,
this time between North America and Europe. Amateur
Radio Newsline's Ed Durrant DD5LP has the details.
ED's REPORT: North American and European Summits on
the Air “Super activation” November 19th -- After
the success of the Australia-Europe Summit-to-Summit
event in October, Gerald G4OIG suggested a similar
event, this time between Europe and North America.
The SOTA community has rallied behind him.
Both ends of the event will have to deal with
wintery weather, but despite that, at the time of
writing just under two weeks before the event twenty
six stations located in Europe, North America and
even one in Africa, have indicated on the
sotawatch.org website that they intend to
participate. Many activators can only confirm the
day before and others don't post alerts at all, so
the final number of summits is likely to be even
Instead of the early morning activations the
Europeans had in the VK - EU event, this time it
will be those in North America who will need to set
the alarm clock. For Europe the 1400 – 1700 UTC time
slot makes this a nice afternoon activation. In the
US and Canada this equates to 0900 – 1200 on the
East Coast and 0600-0900 local time on the West
The full details are as follows: Date: Saturday
19th, November 2016
Time: 1400 to 1700 UTC
Bands: any that are open
Modes: any that you can operate from a summit. As
well as SSB and CW we have three activators who plan
to use PSK31.
Most stations will be running low power. A few,
however, plan to take 100-watt capable rigs onto the
summit. Antennas in general are wire-based – both
horizontal and vertical polarised.
The aim of the event is to get as many Summit to
Summit - “S2S” - contacts as possible. The summit
contacts can be between North America and Europe or
within the regions themselves. Home-based “chasers”
are also welcome to contact the summit activators
but are being asked to defer to the S2S contacts.
So if you have portable equipment and you are in
North America or Europe, why not take a look at the
SOTA.ORG.UK website to find your nearest summit and
the award scheme's rules and join in the fun on the
19th. of November. Even if you don't have portable
equipment, you can still take part as a chaser from
your home station. The more the merrier on the 19th.
There's even talk now of an Australia to North
America Summit-to-Summit event, that would then
complete the circle around the World by Summits on
PUTTING THE 'RADIO' IN HAM RADIO
PAUL/ANCHOR: What beats the thrill of getting your
ham radio license? Getting your first radio - free!
Amateur Radio Newsline's Skeeter Nash N5ASH has
SKEETER: The Livingston County Amateur Radio Klub in
Michigan has come up with a unique way to generate
interest in ham radio.
LES: We’re offering residents of the County that are
21 years or younger, that get their amateur radio
license, it they pass the test, we’re giving them a
dual-band handheld radio. And if you’re over 21 and
you’re in the county, if you pay for 2 years’
membership to the club, we’ll also give you a radio,
if you pass your test, or an upgrade.
SKEETER: That’s Les Butler W8MSP, Technical Director
for the Livingston County Amateur Radio Klub, or
LARK. I asked Les, who came up with the idea?
LES: The board members of the club. We were thinking
of ideas to get more younger people involved, and
more people in general. Our membership’s pretty
good, and we’ve got pretty good participation in our
meetings; we have a few young people, but we’d like
to see a few more.
SKEETER: Has there been a noticeable difference
since this program started earlier in the summer?
LES: Not yet; I think it’s going to now because it’s
getting a lot more publicity. We did a local radio
station interview here in the county. We generally
have two to five people show up for our test
sessions every month. We test the second Tuesday of
every month. Walk-ins are welcome, you don’t need to
make an appointment. And many months we have five,
six or seven people. Generally, it’s two to five
SKEETER: So, if you know someone in Livingston
County, Michigan, who is interested in getting or
upgrading their license—and could use a free
dual-band hand-held transceiver, go to W8LRK dot com
to learn more about the club’s testing program. But
hurry—this is a limited-time offer that expires at
the end of 2016. For Amateur Radio Newsline, I’m
Skeeter Nash N5ASH, in Topeka, Kansas.
(LIVINGSTON COUNTY AMATEUR RADIO CLUB)
HAM IN BERMUDA HONORED BY HURRICANE WATCH NET
PAUL/ANCHOR: The sun is shining for one radio
amateur in Bermuda who just received big honors for
his work with the Hurricane Watch Net. Here's
Amateur Radio Newsline's Bobby Best WX4ALA.
BOBBY: Thirty-one years of devoted and reliable
reporting has paid off big for Antony "Tony" Siese
VP9HK. Tony's decades of volunteer efforts with the
Hurricane Watch Net have won him the title of
Honorary Member of the Net and the distinction of
being the first non-manager to be given that honor.
The Net's manager, Bobby Graves KB5HAV, announced
late last month that the Bermuda resident had more
than earned the title since the start of his
involvement in 1985. Even with having taken one year
off - last year - he has kept busy. Honorary
membership is not the only distinction conferred on
Tony. His reports on Hurricane Fabian in 2003 won
him the Message-In-A-Bottle Award for that year's
hurricane season after he reported critical
ground-truth information about the storm's activity
Tony has been a ham since the 1970s when he was
licensed as G4CIL in the UK.
MONK APOLLO BACK ON MOUNT ATHOS
PAUL/ANCHOR: We have updated word on a monk who is
one of the world's more popular DXers. Here's
Amateur Radio Newsline's Jeremy Boot G4NJH.
JEREMY: The happy news is that Monk Apollo SV2ASP/A
is back on Mount Athos following his recent
hospitalization and major surgery. The unwelcome
news is that if you think you worked him between the
16th and 18th of October, you're mistaken. His call
sign was apparently pirated while the well-known
DXer was undergoing medical treatment. A report from
Kostas SV1DPI in the Daily DX notes that someone was
on 20 meters CW purporting to be Monk Apollo during
that time period. There are also other reports that
contacts with him on the 22nd and 23rd of October
may also not be authentic. Most recent word from
Mount Athos is that Monk Apollo may be ready for new
QSOs soon so be on the bands and keep listening! The
next time will likely be for real!
(DX WORLD, THE DAILY DX, SOUTHGATE AMATEUR RADIO
THE WORLD OF DX
Elsewhere in the world of DX, Maurizio IK2GZU is on
the air from Tanzania until the 2nd of December and
in his spare time he is operating as 5H3MB. Logs
will be uploaded to Logbook of The World and QSLs
should go via the home call.
Listen for 6V1IS from Dakar, Senegal and as 6V1IS/P
from two different islands in the IOTA AF-045 group.
A group of operators from Italy is on the air from
those locations until the 20th of November. Their
QSL Manager is IK7JWX.
Willi DJ7RJ is operating as 3B8/DJ7RJ from Mauritius
until the 6th of December on all HF bands, from 160
to 10 meters. He asks that topband enthusiasts look
for him on 1826.6 khz.
KICKER: ON THE AIR WITH KB2GSD, WALTER CRONKITE
PAUL/ANCHOR: We close with a story that amateur
radio operators of a certain age - actually, anyone
of a certain age - might appreciate. It's about a
beloved network anchorman who had been a noted ham
too. For this, we turn to Amateur Radio Newsline's
Mike Askins KE5CXP.
MIKE: THE Metro DX Club in suburban Chicago put
legendary newsman Walter Cronkite KB2GSD back on the
air recently, only it was the late journalist
himself who was making amateur radio news this time.
On the occasion of what would have been his 100th
birthday, the club operated Special Event Station
W9C between Monday, October 31st and Sunday November
The CBS newsman, who became a Silent Key in July of
2009, was once known as the "most trusted man in
America" and it was his voice and his expertise that
the ARRL called upon in its 2003 video, "Amateur
Radio Today," to acquaint non-hams with the hobby.
Metro DX Club president Jim Mornar N9TK told Amateur
Radio Newsline that the National Parks on the Air
centennial activity inspired him to look for other
100-year anniversaries. Walter Cronkite's birthday
came up high on the list he found. He told us
[QUOTE] "Since he was a ham and known to most of the
ham demographic, I thought it would be a real
winner. And so it has!" [ENDQUOTE] Thousands of QSOs
had been tallied up by Saturday, November 5th. Jim
called that day the highlight of the event as 15 or
so club members worked from the super station of
Jerry WB9Z and Val NV9L in Crescent City, Illinois,
and had a potluck lunch that gave them strength to
handle the pileups.
And THAT - as Walter Cronkite himself might say - is
the way it is
New ARRL Repeater Directory Will
the creator of a web and
app-based directory of Amateur
Radio repeaters worldwide, will
supply all data for the
2017-2018 ARRL Repeater
. RFinder will
employ its crowdsourcing
technology to aggregate timely
and accurate information for the
, marking the
first time crowdsourcing has
been put to use in the
production of an ARRL
publication. “Crowdsourcing” is
a means of using data gathered
from public resources — in this
case, repeater owners and
frequency coordinators — via the
Internet to obtain the necessary
listing information more quickly
and flexibly. Including
RFinder’s data in The
users seeking the most complete
listing of on-air repeaters.
The Repeater Directory
continue to publish repeater
listings according to state,
city, frequency and mode.
Although RFinder’s data is
primarily user supplied, ARRL
has invited volunteer frequency
coordinators to contribute their
coordination data to RFinder.
RFinder has setup an online
portal to accept uploaded data
from coordinators. Every
coordinator that supplies
repeater data to RFinder will
have its listings credited as
coordinated repeaters both in
the RFinder smartphone apps and
web listings, and in the
hard-copy Repeater Directory.
As part of this program,
RFinder will make the RFinder
database available to all
frequency coordinators free of
charge, with the exception of
the Apple iOS version app, which
requires a $9.99 license. The
Android-compatible database is a
“We believe this will help
you in your coordination
activities, as it will provide
you with a complete map of
machines, both coordinated or
not,” RFinder said. “It will
also assist coordinators to
bring uncoordinated machines
ARRL earlier this year
established an agreement with
RFinder to be the membership
association’s preferred online
resource of repeater
frequencies. RFinder’s steadily
growing worldwide repeater
database now includes more than
60,000 repeaters in some 170
countries around the globe.
RFinder listings are dynamic,
regularly reflecting new,
updated, revised, and deleted
RFinder is integrated
directly with EchoLink on
both Android and iPhone and
provides the ability to share
repeater check-ins on Facebook,
Twitter, and APRS. RFinder
is integrated with RT Systems
and CHIRP radio programming
applications and has a
that lets users find repeaters
worldwide over a given route.
RFinder features are
available on YouTube.
ARRL had previously
discontinued its own products
that supported digital listings
of repeater data including the
TravelPlus for Repeaters™
software and its own apps.
RFinder is $9.99 per year.
to RFinder by visiting http://subscribe.rfinder.net/
from your iPhone, iPad, iPod
Touch, or from your Android
smartphone or tablet.
RFinder also includes the
ability to report radio jamming
anywhere. Those without a device
or subscription can
online. Individuals or entities
responsible for coordinating
anti-jamming activities also can
to view jamming reports for
New England Hams you
might run across on 3864 or 3910.........
K1TP- Jon....Editor of As The
KB1JXU- Matthew...75 meter
regular...our token liberal Democrat out of VT
Regular......residing on the Cape of Cod, flying
planes and playing radio
Meter Regular....teaches the future of mankind, it's
the Hosstrader's original organizers, 75 meter
regular, Tech Wizard!!!
of Davis-RF....my best friend from high school
K9AEN-John...Easy going ham
found at all the hamfests
WB1DVD- Gil....Gilly..Gilmore.....easy going,
computer parts selling, New England Ham..
K1JEK-Joe...Easy going, can be
found at most ham flea market ...Cobra Antenna
John.........Dr. Linux....fine amateur radio op
....wealth of experience...
KA1GJU- Kriss- Tower climbing pilot who cooks on
the side at Hosstrader's...
key gent can be found on many of the 75 meter
going, Harley riding kind of guy!
guy, loves to split cordwood and hunt...
talented ham, loves his politics, has designed gear
Force Controller...told quite a few pilots where to
N1OOL-Jeff- The 3936 master
plumber and ragchewer...
K1BRS-Bruce- Computer Tech of 3936...multi
talented kidney stone passing ham...
K1BGH- Arthur, Cape Cod,
construction company/ice cream shop, hard working
W1VAK- Ed, Cape
Cod, lots of experience in all areas, once was a
Jacques Cousteus body guard....
Paul.....3910 test king....testing......always
easy going, kind of like Mr. Rogers until politics
are brought up then watch out...
K1BNH- Bill- Used to work for
a bottled gas company-we think he has been around
nitrous oxide to long .
K1PV- Roger....75 meter
regular, easy going guy...
Mike, Antrim, NH, auto parts truck driver-retired
W1OKQ- Jack....3936 Wheeling
and Dealing......keeping the boys on there toes....
meter regular, wealth of electronic knowledge...
Mack....DXCC Master, worked them all!.. 3864 regular
for many years...
Hu....SK at 92... 3864 regular for many
Silent Key:N1WBD- Big
Bob- Tallest ham, at 6'10", of the 3864 group and
owner of Peanut (silent key)- mascot....
W1FSK-Steve....Navy Pilot, HRO
Salesman, has owned every radio ever built!
from easy going cw and ssb op on 14275/313
Loved ham radio........Ham Radio Ambassador!
K1GAR- John- Very colorful
character!......self appointed "hambassador" by
Nice fellow to talk to on 3936 on the early
professional musician, one of the nice guys